Talk About Race

Social Awareness

Family Resources on Talk About Race

Lesson Topic

Results of structural racism

Essential Question

How can we better understand the effects of racism on relationships between people of different backgrounds?

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Talk About Race

If this lesson was used in the classroom: Students analyzed the experiences of several high school age students of color. In class students discussed how people of color are often marginalized in our society. In small groups students discussed how some portrayals people of color have negative emotional connections.

Getting Ready for the Conversation

The video for this module features several students discussing inequality as well as two adults who work with those students. The students share their dreams for the future as well as share some experiences of discrimination and negative bias.

Conversation notes:
The video starts with a school principal who states the following about his students of color: “They have not been treated equally.” More conversation about race in the United States is needed because of issues surrounding systemic inequality and a lack of understanding and awareness. While these can be difficult conversations for families and communities, these conversations are essential and should be ongoing.

This article published by The Century Foundation shows how diverse schools benefit students:

Spark Action provides resources for youth activism:

University of Richmond curates this interactive map showing actual redlining maps used to segregate:

Constructive Conversation Starters

The first item is for follow-up after viewing the lesson video and participating in class activities.

What conversation starter did your group discuss in class? What did your group discuss about this situation? What do you think was the most important or most notable thing about your group’s discussion? Why do you think as you do?

Is our neighborhood or community segregated racially (or economically)? How can you tell? Why is our community or neighborhood as it is (either segregated, integrated, or somewhere in between)?

Are you comfortable discussing racial inequality? Why or why not? Research organizations or groups in your community that sponsor or support opportunities for people of differing backgrounds to have conversations around race and inequality. Participate in activities and
discuss why it is important for people to share in these experiences.

School to Home Resources on Talk About Race

Lesson Plan

Inequality persists

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High school principal, Bennett Lieberman says, “I can tell you from my experience with my students, that as they have grown up, they haven’t been treated equally”. What do you think he means? Why do you think it is necessary to discuss racial inequities?

How we are portrayed

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Brian says, “We could be gathering up peacefully for something that we believe in; how are innocent young men portrayed as ‘thugs’?”. Summarize what you think Brian is describing. Why do you think he discusses being described as “thugs”? Describe how this portrayal is offensive

Stop and frisk

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After telling about being stopped and frisked Moyagabi says, “I always blame myself, like why is this happening to me…why can’t I live normal like any other kid?”. To maintain safety in public places, police officers may search a backpack or duffel bag. Describe how you would feel if you were searched when you had done nothing illegal. Describe why an event like this remains problematic.

They aren’t statistics

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Paul Forbes says, “When I look at these young men, they aren’t statistics; they have a voice, they have a name”. Why do you think that Mr. Forbes feels this is important to share?

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